September 2014

Volume 29 Number 9

Editor's Note : Six Degrees of Live! 360

Michael Desmond | September 2014

Michael DesmondA few months back we welcomed Lafe Low to the magazine as a features editor. Lafe has been a fixture in the dev conference group at 1105 Media, helping shepherd the family of Visual Studio Live! and Live! 360 developer events. So when erstwhile Technical Editor David Ramel shuffled off to a new position with the Web editorial team at 1105 Media, Lafe was a natural choice to step into the gap.

Anyone who has met Lafe knows that the man is wired for 220. He brings amazing energy, humor and optimism to everything he does, and that perspective shines through in his work. So it should be little surprise to learn that Lafe took to his new role here at the magazine the same way he attacks the chutes at Tuckerman Ravine in New Hampshire—with an almost maniacal abandon.

Lafe’s arrival made me realize that MSDN Magazine has ties with the Live! 360 and Visual Studio Live! conferences that go back years. Senior Contributing Editor James McCaffrey was a frequent presenter at Visual Studio Live! events until about two years ago. Two other MSDN Magazine columnists—Ted Neward and Rachel Appel—are Live! 360 regulars today.

I asked McCaffrey about his experience at Visual Studio Live! and he said he valued presenting there because the events helped him recharge his (and I quote) “developer psychic energy.”

Says McCaffrey: “I speak at, and enjoy, official Microsoft conferences like Build and TechEd, but many talks at those events are forward-looking and ‘vision’ messages—as they should be. The talks at Visual Studio Live! give me practical information I can put to use immediately.”

Ted Neward has been writing The Working Programmer column in MSDN Magazine for more than four years now. He was presenting at Visual Studio Live! way back in 2004 (when it was owned by Fawcette Technical Publications), and he’s now a regular on the Live! 360 circuit. While Neward praises the technical content of the events, he says the real value is the opportunity for attendees to forge lasting professional relationships.

“I contend that any attendee that goes to a conference and doesn’t have a stack of business cards is an idiot,” Neward says, tongue planted only half in cheek. “Billy Hollis actually said it best: ‘Industry newbies, they go to conferences for the presentations. Veterans, they go for the people and the parties.’”

The next party takes place in Orlando, Nov. 17-21. Maybe you should meet (and party with) Ted Neward there.

Azure Insider Gets an Upgrade

The eagle-eyed among you might notice a change with our regular Azure Insider column. The long-standing column has moved into the feature well, to appear as an ongoing feature series under the expert management of Bruno Terkaly and Ricardo Villalobos. I’ll let Ricardo take the mic, because he says it better than I:

“Considering the rapid and ongoing evolution of Microsoft Azure, it’s critical to get the inside view from the engineers building the platform’s infrastructure and services, as well as from those implementing solutions that address real-world scenarios. Based on the work and writing that we’ve done during the last two years for the Azure Insider column, cloud specialists worldwide will join our effort, collaborating with us in writing articles that will address common scenarios, offering practical solutions based on their experiences. Some of the areas where we will focus our efforts are high-scale database engines, global media distribution, scalable sensor-based analysis, machine learning and multi-platform mobile support.”

Azure Insider is dead. Long live Azure Insider!

Michael Desmond is the Editor-in-Chief of MSDN Magazine.